We are delighted that the resolution had strong, cross-party support, and our thanks go to Councillor Feargal Dalton, who led the motion, and Councillor Rhiannon Spear, who seconded it. Special thanks are due to the members of Glasgow CND branch, who wrote to their Councillors to call for them to adopt the Pledge – and even organised an online event earlier this year to push for action by the Council.
Glasgow joins East Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Fife and Renfrewshire Councils, who have already passed resolutions in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We know that Stirling Council has also committed to the Treaty in principle, and call on them to put their commitment into practice with a similar resolution. We welcomed Inverclyde Council’s resolution earlier this year, calling for divestment from nuclear weapons, and hope they will soon follow this with full commitment to the Nuclear Ban Treaty.
It is striking, and damning, that while people in Glasgow this Friday were setting the tone for the kind of Scotland we all want – a Scotland that welcomes refugees and asylum seekers into our community and protects them; a Scotland which says an unequivocal no to nuclear weapons – the UK government was sneaking yet more of its monstrous weapons of mass murder through the heart of the city.
In the face of all that, why does a Local Authority resolution matter? Well, Local Authorities may not make foreign policy, but they do have a responsibility for our safety – which is at serious risk as a result of the UK’s nuclear programme: whether that’s due to the ongoing operation of ageing nuclear power stations, or the dangers of an accident involving the nuclear convoys that travel on our roads. They have some responsibility for the investment of public funds, and can direct that investment away from the manufacture of nuclear weapons or any related activities. And as centres of local democracy, they can and must represent the strong view of the Scottish people that nuclear weapons have no place in our country, or in our world.
So, how can you encourage your Local Authority to get on board with the Ban?
If your Council has already joined the Cities Appeal, write and thank them. It will make a big difference to Councillors to know that they have public support. Ask them what they are doing locally to make the Ban a reality – whether that’s promoting peace education, challenging nuclear convoys or introducing an ethical investment policy to prevent public funds being invested in nuclear weapons.
If your Council has not yet joined the Cities Appeal, write to them and ask them to do so. Get organised – get your local CND group to write or put on an event; encourage your friends and family to get involved. Share good news about Local Authorities that have already done so, and encourage them to follow suit. If a Councillor comes back to you, keen to take action but not sure what to do, put them in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help.
If your Local Authority is taking action towards nuclear disarmament, please let us know! We’d be happy to do what we can to help, and we’d love to support and celebrate with you when a Nuclear Ban resolution is passed.